Kēdārnāth Mandir (Kedarnath Temple) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritriya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November). During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months. Lord Shiva is worshiped as Kedarnath, the 'Lord of Kedar Khand', the historical name of the region.
The unstable temple is not directly accessible by road and has to be reached by a 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) uphill trek from Gaurikund. Pony and manchan service is available to reach the structure. The temple was built by Pandavas and revived by Adi Sankaracharya and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, expounded in Tevaram. Pandavas were supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. The temple is one of the four major sites in India's Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas.
A lake at an altitude of 4135 meters, Vasuki Tal offers a view of the neighbouring Chaukhamba peaks. Trekkers would find this an ideal range o climb up. The Chaturangi and Vasuki glaciers can be found en-route to the lake.
It is believed that Sri Sankaracharya who propounded the Adwaita Philosophy established this holy shrine and one of his four Mathas in the 8th century and attained Nirvana at age 32 here.
Dedicated to Saint Agastya, the temple commemorates his one year Tapas (mediation) here. This ancient temple stands as an example of grand architecture and interiors with wall art adorning its walls.
Gobind Vallabh Pant Museum is located at the mall road in Almora and is named after the freedom fighter Gobind Vallabh Pant. The museum contains an impressive collection of ancient items which belong to the medieval dynasties of the Katyuri and the Chand kings who ruled the region. The museum is also famous for its folk paintings and has vast information on the culture and history of Uttarakhand.
Atop 1829 m. Sonprayag is a tiny hamlet on the confluence banks of rivers Mandakini and Basuki. Devotees take a dip in the holy waters with the faith to attain nirvana.
Located atop 3679 m. Chandrashila offers an excellent trekking range and skiing tracks throughout the year except in December and January. A Shiva temple adorns the peak of this mountain.
The nearest airport from Kedarnath is the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun, about 239 km from Kedarnath. In fact this airport is closer to Rishikesh (approx. 16 km) and takes roughly 20-30 minutes to reach Rishikesh. From there you need to book a taxi or take a bus to reach Joshimath. Kingfisher Airlines connects Dehradun airport with New Delhi through its Kingfisher Red service leaving New Delhi airport at 11:35 and 03:20 pm and reaching Dehradun at 12:30 pm and 04:20 pm respectively.
The nearest railway stations to Kedarnath are at Rishikesh (215 kms), Haridwar (241 kms), Dehradun (257 kms) and Kotdwar (246 kms). Rishikesh is not connected by fast trains and Kotdwar has very less number of trains. However, Haridwar railway station, 25 km from Rishikesh is better connected with New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Amritsar and Howrah..
Kedarnath is well connected through road via major cities such as Chandigarh (387 km), Delhi (458 km), Nagpur (1421 km), Bangalore (2484 km) or Rishikesh (189 km). You can opt out train journey till Haridwar, Kotdwar or Dehradun or air route too if suitable till Dehradun.
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